PgDip/MA Carving

This section should detail all that you need to know about making an application for the PgDip/MA Carving; including timelines, advice on fees and funding, along with guidance on digital and interview portfolios.

The 2020/21 Course Application Form and Reference Form are now available.

To avoid any problems the forms should NOT be completed online but downloaded to a computer and opened in the latest version of Adobe Reader. If you do experience any problems, or if you have any questions about the forms, please contact us at:

We have a number of Application Deadlines throughout the year. Please check the What about the actual application’ section to find the out the next upcoming deadline.

I am thinking of studying at the Art School, what should I do?

First you should make sure you know all about our PgDip/MA Carving Course by reading, Why Study Here and Course Details.

We strongly recommend you attend an Open Day for a tour of the Art School and discussions with tutors, who provide details and information about the course. Open Days are a great opportunity to meet students currently studying on the course and to hear about their experiences. PgDip/MA Carving Open Days are usually held from October each year, and can be booked here.

For those of you who cannot attend an Open Day, you can download the Course Handbook and view videos. We are, of course, happy to discuss the course with you by phone.

We welcome applications from anyone committed to study with us with the aptitude to do so. If you have a disability that you are concerned might affect your chances of study, please read our Equality & Diversity and our Inclusive Learning & Participation policies describing our attitude to access. For further information and guidance please read What Student Support can I get? below.

It is important to remember we manage our own applications and do not currently participate in UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). If you have any enquiries about the PgDip/MA Carving, or any other of our courses, please contact us directly.

What fees should I pay?

Fees for students joining PgDip Carving in 2020/21 have been set at:

  • Full time Home/EU students £9,750 per year of study
  • Full time International Students £15,750 per year of study
  • Part time Home/EU students £5,175 per year of study
  • Part Time International students £8,375 per year of study

Fees for students joining MA Carving in 2020/21 have been set at:

  • Full time Home/EU students £10,000 per year of study
  • Full time International students £16,750 per year of study
  • Part time Home/EU students £5,300 per year of study
  • Part Time International students £8,915 per year of study

While the Part Time course cannot sponsor Tier 4 International students, those with appropriate Visa clearance can apply for the course.

If you are concerned or worried about your ability to pay the fees, please read How can I fund my studies? below.

Material expenses

To study Carving at this level will incur some costs besides the costs of travel, accommodation and living costs during your time studying.

Students are required to have some basic tools including work boots.  If these are not already owned the likely cost of this equipment is approximately:

£150 gilding kit;  £50 heavy duty boots;  £20 book of gold leaf and anywhere between £50 to £200 for a tool kit. This equipment is for current and future professional practice and should last beyond the period of the course.

Students may also opt for the observational drawing course and would be expected to buy paper and drawing materials for this, £50 would cover materials used.

Study trips

During the course there is an optional field trip to Venice with an itinerary of specialist talks and visits for Conservation and Carving students: in 2016/17 this cost each student £460 for travel and accommodation (£500 if a single room is required).

Whilst we encourage you to take these trips, we understand it is not always possible, so they are not compulsory nor essential.

Successful Application Processing Fee and Deposit

A non-refundable Successful Application Processing Fee of £225 (Home/EU) /£325 (International) is charged on acceptance of a place.

A Deposit of £500 is also charged on acceptance of a place but forms part-payment of your fees.

Successful Application Processing Fees and Deposits are paid on acceptance of a place but should you change your mind before the course commences, deposits may be refundable. Application Processing Fees are non-refundable.

Refund Policy

To be eligible for a full refund you will need to provide notification of your decision to withdraw from the course (cancellation of contract) in writing within, whichever is the later date of:

a) fourteen (14) days of your original formal acceptance of a place and your payment of the deposit; or

b) up to six (6) weeks before the start date of the course.

Should you decide to cancel the contract outside of this period (less than six (6) weeks before the course commences and after fourteen (14) days have passed since your original formal acceptance of a place) you will not be eligible for a refund of the deposit.

Are there any Grants or Financial Awards?

There are Bursaries and/or Grants available for eligible students starting the BA (Hons) Historic or MA Carving in 2019/20. The awards are to be worth up to 50% of the fees per year, for up to three years.

Below is a list of some of the bursaries currently available for Carving students.

  • Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust
  • Behrens Foundation
  • City & Guilds Institute
  • Clothworkers Company
  • Damon de Laszlo Foundation
  • Dulverton Trust
  • Ernest Cook Trust
  • Mr & Mrs Le Cras Bursary
  • Sheepdrove Trust
  • Sidney Mason (Masons Company)
  • Vandervell Foundation
  • Worshipful Company of Grocers

If you would like to apply for bursary support, please DO NOT contact these organisations directly, as they distribute their funding through the Art School. Bursary support is allocated on the basis of need and merit, and according to the guidelines set out by each Benefactor.

Applicants must have been offered a place in one of the Art School’s courses before submitting a bursary application.

Should you wish to be considered for Grant and Financial Assistance please download the following documents:

Please note our bursary applications will open from 01 February 2019. 

Email all the required documents to with your full name, course and year. The grant application deadline for incoming students varies according to the course; however, as some of the candidates will depend on a grant in order to accept our course offers, candidates should submit their applications at their earliest as these applications are normally reviewed as soon as they are received by the administrator and processed thereafter. Otherwise, the deadline is usually by end of May or end of November each year.

The Art School also operates a Hardship Fund that enrolled students can apply to if they are facing financial hardship. Please note that the fund cannot be relied upon, nor is it sufficient, to finance a student’s course of study.

When making an enquiry or for further information, following an offer of a place on the course, please state your full name, course and year of entry, email:


External Funding

The Mason’s Company Craft Fund accepts applications for financial assistance directly from current students or those due to study Historic Carving: Architectural Stone pathway at the Art School.

Please have a look at their website for further details.

How can I fund my studies?

Student Loans

Students on this course are eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company .

If you are a UK national and studying a postgraduate degree with the Art School you are most likely eligible for support from the SLC. Student loans can provide up to £10,609 towards your fees and maintenance. Currently the course is only designated for the Student Loan Company England. General information on all aspects of student funding is available from: . If you are a resident of England please check here for further specific information.

Bursaries and Scholarships

There are Bursaries and/or Grants available for students starting their BA (Hons) Historic Carving or PgDip/MA Carving in 2019/20. The awards are worth up to 50% of the fees per year for up to three years. For further information or to apply for a bursary please contact

Professional & Career Development Loans

Professional & Career Development Loans can help pay for learning that enhances job skills or career prospects. This is a bank loan which is paid back when a course has been completed, however, you do not pay interest for the period while you are in learning. A number of our full-time courses are registered with the Learning Skills Council for such loans. Please note that the loan only covers a maximum of two years. The National Careers Service can provide further information by telephone on, 0800 100 900.

What are the Entry Requirements and Selection Criteria?

The PgDip/MA Carving course is suitable for applicants who can meet the entry requirements and have an appetite to develop their carving practice within an intensive studio-based teaching environment.

Entry requirements

All applicants have to meet the minimum entry requirements for admittance to the course, though there are three different ways of doing so:

1) Standard educational

Applicants for PgDip/MA Carving should normally hold a relevant degree level qualification, have successfully completed a Graduate Diploma Arts specialising in Carving, or be able to demonstrate equivalent professional experience.

2) International educational

Applicants who have achieved, or are expected to achieve, the equivalent of a relevant degree level qualification, with a combination of other qualifications including, though not exclusively, the International Baccalaureate or High School Diploma.

Please check UCAS guidance for the value of various International Qualifications.

3) Other experiential

Applicants who can demonstrate equivalent prior practice and professional experience. Using a process called Recognition /Accreditation of Prior Learning (R/APL), Art School Admissions Tutors consider how various work-life and (in)formal educational experiences meet the educational level of the entry requirements.

Please see our Recognition/ Accreditation of Prior Learning Policy here.

English Language Requirements

Applicants who do not speak English as a first language will be required to provide evidence of achieving the equivalent of the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) score of 6.0 or above, with a minimum of 5.5 in all four areas.


At interview by viewing your work and your responses to questions we are seeking to determine the extent to which you can:

  • Fulfil the entry requirements
  • demonstrate a range of developed hand skills and technical abilities related to carving
  • demonstrate a high level of commitment and motivation in relation to the subject and the course;
  • instigate relevant research and synthesize information to support your practice;
  • critically evaluate your own and others’ achievements and identify areas for development;
  • evidence knowledge of cultural objects relevant to your practice and its historical contexts;
  • pro-actively plan and prioritise your own time and set achievable goals;
  • communicate your own ideas visually, verbally and in writing.

We are also looking for your potential in the following areas:

  • Manual dexterity and hand-eye co-ordination
  • Ability to develop a ‘good eye’
  • Appetite and aptitude for learning at postgraduate level
  • An interest in the history of carving in architecture and sculpture
What about the actual Application?

Application deadlines, interviews and outcomes

If you are applying for Carving, due to the small and specialist nature of the course we do accept applications throughout the year and later than our standard deadlines. We recommend that you contact us to let us know if you are thinking about making an application so that we can advise you .

The following are the Art School’s standard application deadlines:

Applications received by 25 January, will be interviewed between 11 February and 01 March, the outcome of which will be communicated by 08 March.

Applications received by 10 May, will be interviewed between 20 and 31 May, the outcome of which will be communicated by 07 June.

Timeline summary Historic Carving
Applications received by: …will be interviewed between: …with the outcome communicated by: …offers to be accepted by:
25 Jan 11 Feb & 01 Mar 08 Mar 29 Mar
10 May 20 & 31 May 07 Jun 21 Jun

Due to the nature of small and tailored year group, we often accept applications after those deadlines. Please contact Admissions Office for enquiry:

Please note, applications for 2019/20 will not be processed before 01 November 2018 at the earliest.

What to submit

If you would like to apply for MA Carving, you must submit by email:

  • a PDF application form, completed in full, which must include:
  • a personal statement of up to 500 words explaining your motivations for your application; and
  • a link to your Flickr, digital portfolio.

You must also arrange for at least one academic reference to be emailed direct to the Art School from your referee(s).

Application Form

Please note, the Application Form must be downloaded and cannot currently be completed online. To prevent problems when completing the form, please ensure you are using the latest version of Adobe Reader.

The PDF is interactive, so click ‘bookmarks’ to easily navigate and complete the form in any order you wish. There are also plenty of opportunities to save as you go.

The application form is your first opportunity to tell us about yourself, as well as being a vital source of the information we need to make a decision. Please take your time to complete the form accurately, consulting the guidance and the website as necessary: remember that if your application is successful you will need to provide proof of your identity and entry requirements.

When you have completed the application form remember to check you have provided all the information required, including the link to your digital portfolio. Ensure the accuracy of your responses and remember, if successful, you will be required to evidence your claims. We suggest you save a copy of your application form, for your own records and please don’t forget to send the Reference Form to your chosen referee(s).

Please submit your completed application form to

The Art School only accepts applications on the form it provides for that purpose, and reserves the right to reject incomplete or alternative applications.

Digital portfolio 

The digital portfolio should comprise 15 to 20 images, compiled on Flickr. You should choose what you consider to be your strongest work, ideally undertaken within the last two years, which also represents the range of your interests and practice.

Each image in your Flickr portfolio should include the title, media, dimensions, date and, if necessary, no more than 50 words of description.

Your Flickr portfolio must be publicly viewable without need for password or login.

What happens to my Application?

Application Processing

Once we have received your application, the Admissions Office will check your submission to:

  • ensure that you meet the minimum entry requirements;
  • and, to make an assessment of your fee status.

Assuming that your application is complete and that you meet the minimum entry requirements, you will then be invited to interview.

Interview invitation

The interview invitation details the date and time of your interview at the Art School. If you are living overseas, online-video interviews can be arranged.

If you are at all concerned that a disability might interfere or inhibit your interview, please let us know in your application: we will make any reasonable adjustment, which is within our capacity, so that you might fully participate in an interview.

What about the Interview and portfolio?

The actual Interview

Comprising a conversation between you and senior tutors from Historic Carving, the interview lasts approximately 30 minutes and explores your application and interview portfolio. All the tutors involved are trained in the fair and equitable conduct of interviews and are fully conversant in the Art School’s Admissions Policy.

Historic Carving applicants come from a wide range of backgrounds and often do not have examples of previous work in carving, we therefore ask you to bring a portfolio of relevant work that can help you demonstrate your potential to study on the course. We recommend that your portfolio includes objects you have made (where the work is too large or unavailable, please include good quality photographic images), together with observational and/or planning drawings, work in progress, sketchbooks or notebooks and anything else that you think supports your application. We are not expecting you to present your portfolio in any particular format – we want to see anything that you consider relevant that helps you to show us your enthusiasm for the subject and your experience in any related areas of making, drawing, construction etc.

We encourage you to inform us in advance if the arrangements for your interview require adjustment due to an existing condition or disability. For example if you might require more time or specific access arrangements or other support. Our aim is to ensure that all eligible applicants are given a fair opportunity to demonstrate their potential to study on the course.

Interview Questions For Applicants

The interview will be relatively informal and we want you to feel comfortable and confident. To ensure fairness and to help you prepare for your interview we have agreed upon a set of key questions that all applicants for Historic Carving will be asked at interview.

We advise you to consider how the work that you plan to bring can best support your responses to these questions.

Please remember that the purpose of the interview is to enable you to demonstrate, and help us to see, your potential to study on the course. You should also use your interview visit as an opportunity to get a good idea about the Art School: our values and ethos, the course, and what studying here would be like and we encourage you to ask questions and see the interview as a 2 way process.

Key questions:

  1. What attracts you to study Historic Carving at MA level and why did you decide to apply for this particular course?
  2. What do you hope to achieve after completing the course, do you have any specific ambitions?
  3. Please select an example of your work that best demonstrates your technical abilities? Where do you think it is most successful? What would you do differently if you were making it again?
  4. Please select an example of your work that you think best indicates your ability to work from observation? What did you learn from making this work?
  5. Please tell us about any historic or contemporary carvings that you have found interesting?…what is it about those carvings that holds your attention.… if you have found out more about these carvings, how did you go about that?
  6. Do you have any questions for us?

Supplementary questions may also be asked about your portfolio or to follow on from your responses to the key questions.

What happens after the Interview?

Communicating interview decisions

We email the outcomes of interviews by the dates outlined in the application timelines.

Interview decisions

There are four possible interview decisions.

1) Unsuccessful indicates that the Art School will NOT be offering a place on the course; OR

2) Deferred places your application in reserve to be considered alongside the next round of interviewees; OR

3) Conditional is the offer of a place on the course, provided the demonstration of additional academic requirements; OR

4) Unconditional is the offer of a place on the course without  demonstration of any further academic requirements.

Please note that all successful applicants, even those with an unconditional offer, MUST provide documentary evidence by enrolment to support the claims made in their application, eg, proof of identity and prior academic achievement.

Offer letter

Offer letters detail:

a) any academic condition of the offer;

b) the fees liable along with how and when to pay them; and

c) the Terms & Conditions relevant to the year of study.

What are the Term Dates for 2020/21?

Term dates 2020/21

Full time Term dates 2020/21

Full time Autumn Term: 07 September – 11 December 2020

Full time Spring Term: 04 January – 26 March 2021

Full time Summer Term: 12 April – 27 August 2021

Part time 1st year Term dates 2020/21

Part time 1st year Autumn Term: 07 September – 11 December 2020

Part time 1st year Spring Term: 04 January – 26 March 2021

Part time 1st year Summer Term: 12 April – 25 June 2021

Part time 2nd year Term dates 2020/21

Part time 2nd year Autumn Term: 07 September – 11 December 2020

Part time 2nd year Spring Term: 04 January – 26 March 2021

Part time 2nd year Summer Term: 12 April – 27 August 2021



What Student Support can I get?

A student guide to accessing help and further advice

For students enrolled at City & Guilds of London Art School, the Access to Learning Department provides advice, help and support in the following areas:

  • Support for learning
  • Support for disability
  • Advice and support for health conditions
  • Advice and support for mental health
  • Advice and support with anxiety and depression
  • The learning Mentor
  • Counselling
  • Course based needs assessments
  • Personal Learning Plans
  • Assistance with DSA applications
  • Advocacy
  • Pastoral support
  • General advice and information

Don’t worry if you can’t immediately find what you want, there is an email address below if you need to contact us with any queries.

Any student, at any point in their program, can register with Access to Learning.

Registering your information allows us to observe our duty of care and the effective safeguarding of your rights to disclosure and confidentiality.

If you have any particular needs or support issues, early disclosure is essential to ensure the timely provision of any appropriate advice or assistance.

Access to Learning Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I inform the Art School of my situation/needs?

A: If you have enrolled, and know that you will need some help with writing, or are worried that a long-term condition means you need to make regular doctors’ appointments and you might be late, what should you do?

You should first inform the Art School of your situation or specific needs in one of the following ways:

  • disclose your situation on your Application or Enrolment Forms;
  • complete the forms at the end of this leaflet and send to:

Access to Learning, City & Guilds of London Art School, 124 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4DJ or email

  • make an appointment with Access to Learning, Mondays 09:30-16:30, term time only:
  • talk to your Pastoral Tutor, who will, with your permission, advise you and/or refer you to Access to Learning
  • talk to your Personal Progress Tutor, or your Head of Department who will also advise and/or will, with your permission, refer you to Access to Learning.

Q: Will my information be treated as confidential?

A: The Art School respects your right to confidentiality in relation to your disclosure.

We will not give out information about your situation or your needs unless you give us permission to do so.

Q: What happens after I have disclosed/ completed registration with Access to Learning?

A: On receipt of the information you have provided, Access to Learning, will email you to arrange a meeting in the first few weeks of the term. The meeting will discuss and identify the type and level of assistance required and what the Art School may be able to provide.

There will be a formal assessment following the meeting to confirm arrangements for assistance, if it is required.

There may be another meeting with you to complete a Learning Plan or an Access Plan, (depending on your situation).

This Plan will set out any specific requirements agreed with you and will be used to ensure that you are provided with the agreed adjustment or support identified.

Q: What should I do if I am planning to apply for Government DSA funding? *

A: Please contact Access to Learning so that we can advise you on making an application. You will need to supply specific information to apply for DSA funding:

  • For a specific learning difference such as dyslexia:

Evidence in the form of a post-16 diagnostic assessment, in English, from an educational psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher.

  • If you have a disability:

Provide a diagnostic assessment from a relevant professional

  • If you have an ongoing situation or health condition that impacts upon your access to learning, making, your well-being or attendance:

Provide diagnostic and/or valid documentary evidence of your situation or condition,(such as a letter from your GP or specialist).

Remember not all students are able to apply for DSA funding:

Foundation Diploma students, International students and students enrolled on Diploma courses are usually not funded by Student Finance DSA.

* Student Finance England Disabled Student Allowance: We encourage and assist students with a recognised condition and valid supporting documentation, to apply for government funding wherever possible. Students with a valid diagnosis for conditions such as Dyslexia, M.E, Depressions, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and many others, are recognised as eligible for DSA. Students enrolled on BA or MA courses can apply online at:

Q: I have never been diagnosed with a learning difficulty, but feel that I need some extra advice, support or help, what should I do?

A: Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns and speak to your Pastoral Tutor for advice.

Q: I need confidential advice that isn’t listed above and I would rather discuss it before registering with Access to Learning what should I do?

A: Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns.

Q: I have a situation or condition that impacts upon my experience /learning /wellbeing what should I do?

A: We always recommend you share this information with your Pastoral Tutor Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns.

Q: Would tutors and technicians need to know about my situation?

Some staff members may need to know about your situation so that they can provide you with the appropriate assistance or support. It may be necessary to inform other tutors of any relevant information regarding your Learning or Access Plan to ensure you receive what you need to engage with the course.

Disclosure is discussed and agreed with you in advance.

Q: How will staff be told about my situation?

A: Where required staff members will be informed about your needs via the Learning or Access Plan made after your first meeting. We may also e-mail, phone or meet with them, if appropriate.

With your permission we might email your tutor and arrange a meeting to discuss your Learning or Access Plan.

Q: What if I don’t want anyone to know about my situation?

A: You may choose to keep all information about your situation, condition or Learning/Access Plans entirely confidential so that information cannot be disclosed to any other person.  It is your right to do this – but please be aware that the School will be restricted in its ability to meet your needs if you do so.

Q: Is there ever a time when disclosure may occur without my permission?

A: In the case of an emergency, or if there are concerns about the health safety and/or well-being of you, another student or student group, our Duty of Care will be observed and this may result in disclosure to an appropriate person.

Where can I find the Course Handbook?

Here you can download the PgDip/MA Carving course handbook together with some of the City & Guilds of London Art School’s key policies related to the student experience.


Art School Policies

Below is a selection of relevant Art School Policies


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